Life is Playful

I suppose most of you have heard of Zen. But before going on to explain any details about it, I want to make one thing absolutely clear. I am not a Zen Buddhist. . I am not trying to convert anyone to it. I have nothing to sell. I am an entertainer.

Alan Watts (1915-1973) was a Britishphilosopher and self-proclaimed entertainer. He entertained by speaking about Buddhism, religion, and Eastern philosophy in general. He published over twenty books and isperhaps best known for his speeches because he has a captivating way of explaining things.

There are many types of Buddhism and a range of beliefs among thetypes. In any of them though, its easy to see how Buddhist views help to naturally attract wealth.Perhaps Ill talk about attachment in another post though. This post is about enjoying where you are now.This next excerpt fromone of hisspeeches can be found in hisessential lectures from the Out of Your Mind seriesor onyoutube.

Who, incidentally has forgotten that the whole point of washing the dishes isplayful. You know you dont wash the dishes for a serious reason. You like the table to look nice. You know,you dont want to serveup the dishes for dinner with all theleavings of breakfast still lying on them.So why do you want the table to look nice? Well again its for nice. You see, you like the pattern of it that way. People get terribly compulsive aboutdoing these things. And they think that going on arranging the patternsof life issomething thats aduty.
One of his more popular stories has been titled Music and Life.
In music, one doesnt make the end of the composition the point of the composition. If that were so, the best conductors would be those who played fastest; and there would be composers who wrote only finales. People [would] go to concerts justto hear one crashing chord so thats the end.But we dont see that as something brought by our education into our everyday conduct. Weve got a system of schooling that gives a completely different impression. Its all graded and what we do is we put the child into this corridor of this grading system, with a kind of come on kitty, kitty, kitty. And now you go to kindergarten and thats a great thing because when you finish that youll get into first grade. And then come on!, first grade leads to second grade and so on and then you get out of grade school and you go to high school, and its revving up, the thing is coming! And then youre gonna go to college, and by Jove youre gonna get into graduate school. And when youre through with graduate school you go out and join the world. And then you get into some racket where youre selling insurance. And theyve got that quota to make, and youve gotta make that. And all the time, the thing is coming! Its coming, its coming! That great thing! The success youre working for. Then when you wake up one day about 40 years old, you say My God, Ive arrived! Im there! And you dont feel very different from what you always felt. And theres a slight letdown because you feel theres a hoax. And there was a hoax, a dreadful hoax. They made you miss everything. We thought of life by analogy with a journey, with a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end and the thing was to get to that end. Success, or whatever it is, maybe heaven after youre dead. But, we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you weresupposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.

If youre busy singing and dancing and enjoying life then youre not busy worrying about creature comforts orbuying new things.

I highly recommend beginning with hisessential lectures from the Out of Your Mind seriesif youre interested in discoveringnew ways of looking at things. Its fascinating for someone whos only been exposed to western religions all of their lives. For a delightful explanation of Buddhism I recommendReligion of No-Religion from Amazonor fromAlanWatts.orgas a CD.